(Above) Edward Lutczyn’s Polish poster art for the original Rocky. If you’d like to binge watch Rocky Balboa’s transformation from doughy underdog to swole defender of the American way, the first five entries in the franchise are now streaming on Netflix. This poster is currently up for auction through this weekend over at Heritage Auctions.
In honor of Avengers: Endgame hitting Blu-ray today, here’s a few behind the scenes shots from Captain America’s time-traveling mano a mano versus himself. Photos via The Art of VFX’s interview with Endgame visual effects producer Carlos Ciudad.
To illustrate how the volume of effects shots in a Marvel Cinematic Universe extravaganza has expanded, here’s Marvel co-president Louis D’Esposito from the book Marvel Studios: The First Ten Year:
We started with 487 (visual effects shots) on Iron Man (2008) and finished with 823. For Avengers: Infinity War (2018) it’s over 3,100. That’s almost every shot.
A few set-ups from the new film adaptation of the popular 1980s kids horror anthology books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.
Directed by André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and produced/written by Guillermo del Toro, the movie attempts to faithfully recreate Gammell’s unsettling monsters via practical effects (meaning actors in ghoulish costumes) rather than CGI. Below you’ll find the movie’s take on The Red Spot and The Dream.
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood DP Robert Richardson gets philosophical about the art of film projection, the beautiful failures of old lenses, and how we will all end up like Rick Dalton. Here’s my talk with the three-time Oscar winner for Filmmaker Magazine.
In my newest interview for Filmmaker Magazine, Panavision Senior Vice President of Optical Engineering Dan Sasaki talks being a second-generation member of the Panavision family, the storied history of the C Series anamorphics, and personalizing lenses for cinematographer Robert Richardson for use on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
Here’s an excerpt:
Filmmaker: Do you have a favorite set of lenses that you wish got rented out more?
Sasaki: Oddly enough, I cannot say that I have encountered a situation in which any particular series has gone unnoticed or underutilized. The amount of content [being made now] has created a bit of a renaissance in which the art of cinematography has evolved into an adventure that I have not seen the likes of in my history at Panavision. Cinematographers are figuring out ways to maintain their authorship and carry their intent throughout the entire imaging chain. That includes experimenting with every type of lens we carry.
(Above) The Dutch cover art for the VHS release of Ladyhawke (1985) – in honor of the late Rutger Hauer, one of my favorite actors growing up due largely to this film. Scanned from my personal collection of tapes.
(Above, photo by Andrew Cooper) Shooting an action scene from a fictional Rick Dalton flick in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. The behind the scenes pic is featured in the August issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which includes interviews with DP Robert Richardson, colorist Yvan Lucas, and gaffer Ian Kincaid. The story is currently only accessible in the print edition, but if you’re interested in such things I highly recommend subscribing. A two-year digital subscription is only $50.
Here’s Richardson on the film – his sixth with Tarantino – from the American Cinematographer piece:
“It’s about mortality, about the recognition of when we slowly begin to fade from a place in the spotlight to somewhere else. [It’s also] a celebration of a time period in Hollywood that was shifting – as Quentin has said, it is his love letter Hollywood.”
Check out more in the Shot Behind the Shot series here.
My talk with Midsommar cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski is now up on Filmmaker Magazine. The folk horror tale re-teams Pogorzelski and his Hereditary director Ari Aster. Shot on the Panavision DLX2 with Panavison Primo Primes and Primo Artiste 70mm lenses.
Here’s Pogorzelski breaking down one of the film’s distinctive drone shots:
Filmmaker: There’s a shot when the Americans are first driving to Hårga where a drone flies from the front of the car to the back. As the drone moves, the camera rotates 180 degrees so that the image is upside down when it reaches the other side of the vehicle. I don’t remember ever seeing that shot before.
Pogorzelski: We found very good drone operators in Hungary, where the Sweden-set scenes were filmed, but at first they told us it was impossible to do that shot. I kept doing research and found a way, which was basically a custom-made drone with a gimbal head — I think it was a Ronin — that could hold an Alexa Mini. Then you had to bypass the drone’s software to tell it to tilt more than [the software] would normally allow. I asked the drone operators if they would try that for me and they were a bit reluctant because that drone is their baby. The first day we flew it, the drone died as it took off. So we had to do the shot again on a day that was a little bit too overcast, but it was the only day we had left to get the shot. It was very windy, but the operators were able to keep the drone flying straight, which was quite impressive. I think we did it four or five times and every time [the drone operators] were very nervous. I was always like, “One more, one more. We can do it better.” And they were always like, “Are you sure? I think we’ve got it.” (laughs)